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02:10

France: Turkish coach calls military salutes in stadium 'emotional reaction'

France, Paris
October 15, 2019 at 10:42 GMT +00:00 · Published

Turkish national football team coach Senol Gunes said that the military salutes performed by his football players in the match against France were an "emotional reaction," during a press conference in Paris on Monday.

"This is not to put out there violence or negativity," said Gunes.

"It is not right to look for a bad intention here, we do not have a bad intention or thought. We just have the intention to stand with our soldiers. We do not send our soldiers so that they go and kill someone. However, it is something done in the perspective of protecting ourselves from an attack against us," he continued.

Gunes concluded by saying that "this is something that goes beyond me, it's Trump's business, it's Macron's business actually. You're always asking me, tell them, they are the ones ruling the world, I can barely manage [my] team."

During the Euro 2020 qualifier game against France on Monday, several Turkish players celebrated their goal by making a military-style salute in front of their supporters. The same gesture was performed during the team's match against Albania, earlier in the same week, drawing criticism.

European football's governing body, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), announced on Sunday a probe into the military salutes made during the Albania game.

On October 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of a military operation in north-eastern Syria dubbed 'Operation Peace Spring'. Ankara says the aim of the Turkish offensive is to create a 'safe zone' cleared of Kurdish groups.

02:10
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Turkish national football team coach Senol Gunes said that the military salutes performed by his football players in the match against France were an "emotional reaction," during a press conference in Paris on Monday.

"This is not to put out there violence or negativity," said Gunes.

"It is not right to look for a bad intention here, we do not have a bad intention or thought. We just have the intention to stand with our soldiers. We do not send our soldiers so that they go and kill someone. However, it is something done in the perspective of protecting ourselves from an attack against us," he continued.

Gunes concluded by saying that "this is something that goes beyond me, it's Trump's business, it's Macron's business actually. You're always asking me, tell them, they are the ones ruling the world, I can barely manage [my] team."

During the Euro 2020 qualifier game against France on Monday, several Turkish players celebrated their goal by making a military-style salute in front of their supporters. The same gesture was performed during the team's match against Albania, earlier in the same week, drawing criticism.

European football's governing body, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), announced on Sunday a probe into the military salutes made during the Albania game.

On October 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of a military operation in north-eastern Syria dubbed 'Operation Peace Spring'. Ankara says the aim of the Turkish offensive is to create a 'safe zone' cleared of Kurdish groups.

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